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The Political Solidarity Model: Empirical Evidence and Implications for Social Stability and Social

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Title: The Political Solidarity Model: Empirical Evidence and Implications for Social Stability and Social


1
The Political Solidarity Model Empirical
Evidence and Implications for Social Stability
and Social Change
Emina Subasic Kate Reynolds
2
Thank you…
  • Professor John C. Turner
  • Professor Steve Reicher
  • Dr Michael Schmitt
  • Professor Steve Wright

3
Outline
  • Social psychology and social change a critique
  • Political solidarity The concept
  • Self-categorization and tripolar intergroup
    relations
  • Empirical evidence
  • Implications for social stability and social
    change

4
Social Psychology and Social Change
  • Attempts to understand (lack of) social change
    focus on
  • Collective action involving disadvantaged
    minority
  • Prejudice reduction involving privileged
    majority
  • Explanations for why the status quo persists
    (SDT, SJT)
  • Three dualisms implicit in current analyses

5
Social Psychology and Social Change
  • Dualism 1 Social Change vs. Status Quo
  • Status quo absence of social change
  • Social change ? absence of status quo
  • Interdependence between the status quo and social
    change
  • Distinct asymmetrical processes (not mirror
    images)

6
Social Psychology and Social Change
  • Dualism 2 Conflict vs. Cooperation
  • Conflict and cooperation part of the same social
    change process
  • Conflict active protest and challenge to
    existing power relations
  • Cooperation mobilising widespread support for
    ones cause
  • Conflict and cooperation used to maintain the
    status quo
  • Conflict marginalising ones opponents
  • Cooperation maintaining and enhancing ones
    support base
  • Need to move beyond bipolar intergroup relations
    to understand this dynamic more fully…

7
Social Psychology and Social Change
  • Dualism 3 Bipolar intergroup relations (high vs.
    low status, dominant vs. subordinate, privileged
    vs. disadvantaged, etc.)
  • Is there more to the story? If we are not the
    disadvantaged, are we necessarily the
    privileged (dominant, high status) and
    therefore destined to oppose change?
  • Mugny et al (1982, 1984) Minority influence
    taking place in a tripolar context
  • Simon Klandermans (2001) Social identity is
    politicized when activists seek to involve third
    parties (societal audience) in their cause
  • Reicher et al ESIM of Crowd Behaviour
  • Leach, Snider Iyer (2002) Poisoning the
    consciences of the fortunate the experience of
    relative advantage and support for social
    equality

8
Tripolar Intergroup Power Relations
Authority
Minority
Majority
9
The Political Solidarity Concept
  • Political solidarity (Scholz, 2008)
  • Arises in response to injustice or oppression
  • Commitment to join with others to challenge a
    perceived injustice
  • Unity based on shared cause (shared vision)
    rather than shared history of oppression
  • Sharing a common history of oppression, however,
    is not sufficient for solidarity each individual
    in the solidary group must value an
    interpretation of the past and the present and
    share a vision for the future, regardless of
    whether each individual actually experienced the
    relevant history. (Scholz, 2008 34)
  • Inherently oppositional a movement for social
    change
  • Opposes injustice, oppression, tyranny

10
The Political Solidarity Concept
  • Political solidarity (Subasic, Reynolds Turner,
    2008)
  • Solidarity
  • Common cause majority embracing the minority
    cause as its own
  • Shared orientation to the status quo social
    change is needed
  • Unity in diversity recognition of (subgroup)
    differences, yet able to work together (at times
    precisely because of difference)
  • Political
  • Challenging existing power relations in line with
    shared cause
  • Challenge to (hitherto) legitimate authority

11
Status Quo more likely when…
Authority
Minority
Majority
12
Social Change more likely when…
Authority
Minority
Majority
13
Political Solidarity as a Process Status Quo ?
Social Change
Authority
Minority
Authority
Minority
Majority
Majority
14
Empirical overview
  • Emphasis on tripolar intergroup relations where
    participants are always members of the majority

e.g. low paid sweatshop workers asylum
seekers Indigenous Australians
Authority
Minority
e.g. the government corporate management
Majority
Participants
  • Key Question When will the majority challenge
    the authority in solidarity with the minority?

15
Empirical Overview
  • Key Dependent Variable Political Solidarity as
    Outcome
  • Collective Action Intentions
  • Challenge to Authority
  • Support for Minority
  • Key Independent/Mediating Variables
  • Authority Norm Violation
  • Authority Legitimacy
  • Majority Identity
  • Boundaries (e.g. minority ingroup or outgroup
    members)
  • Meaning (e.g. group norms)
  • Common Cause

16
Empirical Evidence Study 1
  • Study 1
  • Basic process authority norm violation as the
    first step towards political solidarity
  • Is political solidarity with outgroup
    minorities possible?

17
Study 1 Design
  • Context government policy reforms to do with
    workers rights have the potential to further
    disadvantage low-paid Australian/Foreign
    workers.
  • 2 x 2 x 2
  • Identity meaning Egalitarian (Strong vs. Weak)
  • Authority (Norm Consistent vs. Norm Inconsistent)
  • Minority (Australian vs. Foreign Workers)
  • Challenge to authority in solidarity with the
    (outgroup) minority should be more likely when
    authority violates norms that strongly define the
    relevant identity.

18
Study 1 Results
  • Challenge to Authority (CAI)
  • 2 x 2 Interaction (Identity x Authority)

19
Study 1 Results
  • Challenge to Authority (CAI)
  • 2 x 2 Interaction (Minority x Authority)

20
Study 1 Results
  • Support for Minority (CAI)
  • 2 x 2 Interaction (Minority x Authority)

21
Study 1 Results
  • Common Cause with Minority
  • 2 x 2 Interaction (Minority x Authority)

22
Study 1 Results
  • Support for Minority (CAI)
  • 2 x 2 Interaction (Identity x Minority)

23
Empirical Evidence Summary
  • Political solidarity is a function of
  • Majority relationship with minority, but also
  • Majority relationship with authority
  • Political solidarity cannot be reduced to common
    fate
  • Effects of common fate vary depending on identity
    processes
  • The meaning of majority identity central
  • Embodies minoritys concerns and interests as
    our own

24
Implications for Social Stability and Change
  • Interdependence between status quo and social
    change
  • Status quo more likely when minority marginalised
  • Social change more likely when authority loses
    legitimacy
  • Asymmetry in tripolar intergroup relations
  • Authority already shares identity with majority
  • For minority, shared identity needs to emerge
  • Challenge to authority depends on
  • Severing of shared identity meaning with
    authority AND
  • Emergence of shared identity meaning with
    minority

25
Conclusions
  • Social change and status quo as interdependent
    but distinct processes (involving both conflict
    and cooperation)
  • Tripolar intergroup power relations as a contest
    for influence over the meaning of the relevant
    identity
  • Political solidarity as a useful starting point
    for understanding these dynamics…

26
  • Thank you…
  • Questions, comments?
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